Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
Part 211—MASK WORK PROTECTION
Subchapter A—Copyright Office and Procedures
(a) General. This section prescribes conditions for the registration of claims of protection in mask works pursuant to section 908 of title 17 U.S.C.
(b) Application for registration.
(1) For purposes of registration of mask work claims, the Register of Copyrights has designated “Form MW” to be used for all applications. Copies of the form are available free from the Copyright Office website or upon request to the Copyright Information Section, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559- 6000.
(2) An application for registration of a mask work claim may be submitted by the owner of the mask work, or the duly authorized agent of any such owner.
(i) The owner of a mask work includes a party that has obtained the transfer of all of the exclusive rights in the work, but does not include the transferee of less than all of the exclusive rights, or the licensee of all or less than all of these rights.
(ii) For purposes of eligibility to claim mask work protection pursuant to section 902(a)(1)(A) of 17 U.S.C., the owner of the mask work must be either the initial owner or a person who has obtained by transfer the totality of rights in the mask work under the Act.
(3) An application for registration shall be submitted on Form MW prescribed by the Register under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and shall be accompanied by the registration fee and deposit required under 17 U.S.C. 908 and §§211.3 and 211.5 of these regulations. The application shall contain the information required by the form and its accompanying instructions, and shall include a certification. The certification shall consist of:
(i) A declaration that the applicant is authorized to submit the application and that the statements made are correct to the best of that person's knowledge; and
(ii) The typed, printed, or handwritten signature of the applicant, accompanied by the typed or printed name of that person if the signature is handwritten.
(c) One registration per mask work.
(1) Subject to the exception specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, only one registration can generally be made for the same version of a mask work fixed in an intermediate or final form of any semiconductor chip product. However, where an applicant for registration alleges that an earlier registration for the same version of the work is unauthorized and legally invalid and submits for recordation a signed affidavit, a registration may be made in the applicant's name.
(2) Notwithstanding the general rule permitting only one registration per work, owners of mask works in final forms of semiconductor chip products that are produced by adding metal-connection layers to unpersonalized gate arrays may separately register the entire unpersonalized gate array and the custom metallization layers. Applicants seeking to register separately entire unpersonalized gate arrays or custom metallization layers should make the nature of their claim clear at Space 8 of application Form MW. For these purposes, an “unpersonalized gate array” is an intermediate form chip product that includes a plurality of circuit elements that are adaptable to be personalized into a plurality of different final form chip products, in which some of the circuit elements are, or will be, connected as gates.
(d) Registration for one mask work. Subject to the exceptions specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, for purposes of registration on one application and upon payment of one filing fee, the following shall be considered one work:
(1) In the case of a mask work that has not been commercially exploited: All original mask work elements fixed in a particular form of a semiconductor chip product at the time an application for registration is filed and in which the owner or owners of the mask work is or are the same; and
(2) In the case of a mask work that has been commercially exploited: All original mask work elements fixed in a semiconductor chip product at the time that product was first commercially exploited and in which the owner or owners of the mask work is or are the same.
(e) Registration in most complete form. Owners seeking registration of a mask work contribution must submit the entire original mask work contribution in its most complete form as fixed in a semiconductor chip product. The most complete form means the stage of the manufacturing process which is closest to completion. In cases where the owner is unable to register on the basis of the most complete form because he or she lacks control over the most complete form, an averment of this fact must be made at Space 2 of Form MW. Where such an averment is made, the owner may register on the basis of the most complete form in his or her possession. For applicants seeking to register an unpersonalized gate array or custom metallization layers under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the most complete form is the entire chip on which the unpersonalized gate array or custom metallization layers reside(s), and registration covers those elements of the chip in which work protection is asserted.
(f) Corrections and amplifications of prior registration. Except for errors or omissions made by the Copyright Office, no corrections or amplifications can be made to the information contained in the record of a completed registration after the effective date of the registration. A document purporting to correct or amplify the information in a completed registration may be recorded in the Copyright Office for whatever effect a court of competent jurisdiction may later give to it, if the document is signed by the owner of the mask work, as identified in the registration record, or by a duly authorized agent of the owner.
[50 FR 26719, June 28, 1985, as amended at 56 FR 7818, Feb. 26, 1991; 64 FR 36575, July 7, 1999; 66 FR 34374, June 28, 2001; 73 FR 37840, July 2, 2008; 82 FR 9365, Feb. 6, 2017; 83 FR 66630, Dec. 27, 2018]